March 07, 2011
'Hillbilly Handfishin' Reality Show Coming to Animal Planet
By Chad Love
Here's one from the "Do We Really Need A Reality Show For This?" files...
From this story in the Winston-Salem (NC) Journal:
Animal Planet — the network about things people do for, and to, animals — has ordered a reality series in which city slickers pay good money to go to Oklahoma to noodle. "Noodling" is hillbilly for "catching catfish with your hands." Don't take my word for it: Animal Planet is calling the series "Hillbilly Handfishin'." The show, Animal Planet explains, stars "self-proclaimed hillbilly" Skipper Bivins, who, for a price, takes silly city slickers out and teaches them how to catch catfish with their bare hands.
"...Animal Planet plans to unleash "Hillbilly Handfishin'" on the public in August, but the network actually premiered the pilot for this series way back on Sept. 24 and averaged 630,000 viewers — 44 percent better than the year-ago time-slot average. Two encores of the pilot copped even bigger crowds: 653,000 viewers Dec. 9 and 722,000 viewers Dec. 22. Noodling was also featured in a 2003 episode of Discovery Channel's "Dirty Jobs," though it's unclear what the "job" part was. More recently, noodling was a story line in an episode of ABC's comedy series "Cougar Town," in which Bobby and Travis went on a dad/son noodling-bonding trip.
Really? "Hillbilly Handfishin'?" Great. It's obvious from the show's title that my home state will surely be portrayed in the most positive light possible. Anyone willing to take an over/under on how long we get into the first episode before we see (or hear) our first "Deliverance" reference? More importantly, anyone planning on watching it?